During the statewide week of “Bringing Help, Bringing Hope” that was held April 29 – May 5 across Ohio, the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities in partnership with local Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health (ADAMH) Boards worked with their County Hubs to plan and host events and activities to thank local frontline workers who regularly work with individuals suffering from substance addiction disorders.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of frontline workers, Ohio has seen a decrease in deaths involving heroin in recent years. However, we are still facing an addiction and overdose epidemic like never before and Ohio’s frontline workers need our continued support. The Week of Appreciation was an opportunity to show support and appreciation to those who work directly with individuals struggling to overcome substance use disorders. This includes police officers, firefighters, EMTs, children’s services workers, emergency department staff, and anyone else who may experience burnout or secondary trauma as a result of their work with individuals with addiction.
Locally, the Champaign County Opiate Task Force (county hub) partnered with The GrandWorks Foundation, The Gloria Theatre Project to offer each firefighter, EMS and police officer in Champaign County a family movie opportunity at no cost to them.
We recognize that their work in our community and their dedication to service often takes them away from their family. The members of our Opiate Task Force wanted to honor them with some family-time rather than another event to take them away from their families. This became a win-win situation to offer a free movie outing during May and June through our own Gloria Theatre. The partnership with The GrandWorks Foundation allowed for our local heroes to enjoy entertainment right where they live, work, and play. Both the Opiate Task Force and The GrandWorks Foundation admire the commitment and service of our first responders and a chance to say Thank You.
Stacey Logwood is director of School and Community Based Prevention at the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services Board of Logan & Champaign Counties. Staci Weller is executive director of The GrandWorks Foundation, The Gloria Theatre Project.